Trapped

I Extend My Arms 1931 or 1932 by Claude Cahun 1894-1954

I Extend My Arms. Claude Cahun. 1931/2.

Michel François Cactus 1997

Cactus. Michel François. 1997.

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Blindness

The Lovers. René Magritte. 1928

The Lovers. René Magritte. 1928

What is ecstasy? The boy banging on the keyboard feels an enthusiasm (or a sorrow, or a delight), and the emotion rises to such a pitch of intensity that it becomes unbearable: the boy flees into the state of blindness and deafness where everything is forgotten, even oneself. Through ecstasy, emotion reaches its climax, and thereby at the same time its negation (its oblivion).

Ecstasy means being “outside oneself,” as indicated by the etymology of the Greek word: the act of leaving one’s position (stasis). To be “outside oneself” does not mean outside the present moment, like a dreamer escaping into the past or the future. Just the opposite: ecstasy is the absolute identity with the present instant, total forgetting of past and future. If we obliterate the future and the past, the present moment stands in empty space, outside life and its chronology, outside time and independent of it (this is why it can be likened to eternity, which too is the negation of time).

From Testaments Betrayed (1993) by Milan Kundera


Desire

Molly Peacock — Desire

It doesn’t speak and it isn’t schooled,
like a small foetal animal with wettened fur.
It is the blind instinct for life unruled,
visceral frankincense and animal myrrh.
It is what babies bring to kings,
an eyes-shut, ears-shut medicine of the heart
that smells and touches endings and beginnings
without the details of time’s experienced part-
fit-into-part-fit-into-part
. Like a paw,
it is blunt; like a pet who knows you
and nudges your knee with its snout—but more raw
and blinder and younger and more divine, too,
than the tamed wild—it’s the drive for what is real,
deeper than the brain’s detail: the drive to feel.